Skip to comments.Guy Spent $11,000 On A Coding 'Bootcamp' And Doubled His Salary
Posted on 04/12/2013 7:15:30 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
"Learn to write software in 9 weeks? New coding boot camps promise to launch tech careers"
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Looking for a career change, Ken Shimizu decided he wanted to be a software developer, but he didn't want to go back to college to study computer science.
Instead, he quit his job and spent his savings to enroll at Dev Bootcamp, a new San Francisco school that teaches students how to write software in nine weeks. The $11,000 gamble paid off: A week after he finished the program last summer, he landed an engineering job that paid more than twice his previous salary.
"It's the best decision I've made in my life," said Shimizu, 24, who worked in marketing and public relations after graduating from the University of California, Berkeley in 2010. "I was really worried about getting a job, and it just happened like that."
Dev Bootcamp, which calls itself an "apprenticeship on steroids," is one of a new breed of computer-programming school that's proliferating in San Francisco and other U.S. tech hubs. These "hacker boot camps" promise to teach students how to write code in two or three months and help them get hired as web developers, with starting salaries between $80,000 and $100,000, often within days or weeks of graduation.
(Excerpt) Read more at businessinsider.com ...
and then his new job gets outsourced to india
Bootcamps, and their associated certs, are good to fool your way past HR people who don't know better.
As soon as these folks get in front of me, they stand out like a sore thumb.
That having been said, if my boss came to me and said, "WBill, you need to be certified. I need a piece of paper that says you know what you say you know".... I'd likely use a bootcamp.
Also, newly minted developers making 80-100K? Nice thought, but that ain’t the truth either.
Nothing beats experience in coding. I would laugh these people out the door if they showed up looking for a job.
Sounds like Richard Pryor’s character in the old Superman movie........
“Also, newly minted developers making 80-100K? Nice thought, but that aint the truth either”
Could be in San Fran, but adjusted to cost of living, that equates to about $40k-$50k in Peoria... which is about right for a recent grad.
My son is in this business in Seattle.
Several of these “boot camp” people have come and gone in his office. A two or three month course of study doesn’t provide the background to do the job.
I had one of these instant experts interview with me awhile back. It was obvious that he was in over his head. I asked him a question about internet resources that he used...
....He'd "Seen the internet". In his bootcamp class. He was "meaning to get on a computer, and really check it out sometime."
Fail. But, the gentleman DID have a pile of Microsoft certifications, which our HR weenie looked at and thought that made him a genius.
Are salaries really doubled in SF? I was travelling out there for work in '99 and 2000.....there was a TON of money out there back then. But it was also during the dotcom boom, too, so my experience isn't really accurate.
What this guy did is better than the taxpayers paying for years of college for kids to take gender studies or other worthless classes and then pay their support because they can’t find a job.
For everyone that spends $30,000 and doubles their salary, fifty more are unemployed. Still it is intriguing enough where I should setup a boot camp training system at $11,000 a pop. The only thing holding me back is integrity.
It gets you one of two things.
If you've done the job for years (like me), then it provides you with a piece of paper that says, "No, really. WBill might know what he's talking about." If I had to wade through HR Departments and the like again to find a job, then I might look at getting certified.
OR, it's an excellent start. Gets your feet wet, and might set you up for a low-level entry position where you can actually start to learn something.
So, in those regards, I suppose that a bootcamp might be useful. Anything else, meh.
You know, the way I knew that the Dot-Com boom (back in the late 90s) was coming to an end, was by the flyers that were tacked up on phone poles: "Become a MICROSOFT CERTIFIED ENGINEER in THREE WEEKS or LESS!!!!!" At that point, I said "The market is saturated, better find myself a safe solid job and hunker down for awhile.".
Might need to start thinking in that direction, again.
I have seen a whole crop of younger people who did this or had degrees in a non-computer science or math field. They go into “web” development. Last place I worked before getting sick of it and moving on they had dozens of these types who all did make $95K+ with only 1-2 years of experience (I did not make that much until I was in the biz for 10 years). The competition in this field has driven salaries for entry and mid level up artificially with all the “software companies” out there wanting to make something new.
They can code all day long if it is simple but have no real concept of data structures and how to solve problems. They also write shi_t code that has no flow and hard to read. The over complicate the simplest things and have a propensity to want to use a lot of open source crap and plug-ins when they cannot make something work. They usually know java script or something like that and say they know C#, C++, but have no knowledge on how to use it. The also cannot write complex queries in a sql language and rely on frameworks and tools.
They are also the chumps that insist on wearing flip-flops to work and having ping-pong tables and such. They insist on a start-up environment and eventually drive off the level header more seasoned folks because we CANNOT stand them.
RE: web developers, with starting salaries between $80,000 and $100,000
Show me the listings!
Not sure what he means by “starting salary”. Entry Level web developers don’t earn that much.
However, web developers in general DO earn that much.
See here for instance:
Yes, and the cost to rent an apartment is much higher than even New York... we are talking $2000 per month for a 600 sqft studio to be in a safe neighborhood. San Fran is the costliest place in the US to live.
This site has $50k salary in Peoria as $81k in San Fran so I was a little off, but if you look at the costs, it seems the $50k in Peoria is a much better quality of life.
Yep, all it takes is Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Flash, PHP, MySQL, Database design, CSS, HTML5, Java, User Interface Knowledge, Photography background, and artistic skills to design decent websites. I am sure the cert covers all this and more.
you need natural talent, training and experience ~ in whatever proportions are necessary, and then you need to keep up to date.
When I was in SF, I thought that it would be a nice place to visit for a day or two. Good food. Pretty scenery all around - Sausalito and the Muir Woods and the PCH and Monterey, and, and, and.... I was younger, there was a thriving nightlife there.
I was out there for several months. After the first couple of weeks and I'd seen everything that I'd wanted to see, SF was just lousy. Dirty, got tired of being panhandled constantly, unsafe, just a generally unpleasant experience. If I'd not been on a (virtually) unlimited expense account, I'd have REALLY hated it, I'm sure.
And don't get me started on Oakland. :-)
You want to get job offers, volunteer to give a presentation at a local user group....I did that, and I got offers out the wazoo.
IT is tough, but satisfying. It gets in your blood, though, I guess. I just hope that my kids don't go into it.
Did he get the three or six month contract?
Sounds great! no need for years of experience to know how to write event handlers to queue up RS-232 input for another thread to run through a state machine to update the user interface to control other hardware and embed a WPF graphical 3D display and high-pass filter the images...
You can learn all about that stuff in just 9 WEEKS!
Send me his resume! I’ll TRIPLE his salary
just curious. how does someone get experience in coding (or anything else) if no one will give them their first job in that field?
I get a lot of work from CA where they have to pay 100/hr for senior level engineers through a contract agency... (or more)
They can contract with me for $50K less (annually) and I am more than happy to get it. I am turnign stuff away, because I can’t work more than 16 hours a day
IT is a strange field. I actually know of few people that have a "related degree". Mine is in Electrical Engineering. My team is made up of a couple of accountants, a couple of business majors, a handful of people without degrees, but received technical training in the military, and a (of all things) a music major. It's very much a profession that you can discover that you have an aptitude for, and fall into it. That's changing, slowly, but it's still very true.
So how do you break into it? I couldn't find a job as an EE. I liked to play with computers, so I took a (VERY) entry level job in a repair shop. Worked lousy hours for a year, then went into consulting, where I worked even lousier hours for a couple of years. Did every crap job there was, lots of 3am work, lots of last minute oncall, stuff the more senior guys hated.
As a result, I saw everything and learned more in those few years than anyone ever would in a class. 20 years later, here I am. One of the senior guys, foisting crud that I don't want to do off on to the newbies.
So - to break in, get a good computer setup at home. Break it, and fix it, a lot. Volunteer at local places - churches and schools are always looking for help. Join user groups and network. Start at the bottom. The VERY bottom. Work your butt off. Volunteer a lot..."Sure, I can come in at 1:30 to change that around". It's not easy, but that how you can do it.
our HR weenie...
You owe me a keyboard!...Just sprayed coffee all over it. LMAO!
I am a cost analyst and contract administrator for a government contractor and they can pay more than that in DC is well. Of course, that includes fringe, overhead, administrative costs and company profit as well, but a qualified SharePoint or Drupel developer in DC probably averages a salary of $120k right now, which is $95.19 with a 1.65 wrap rate. Higher level enterprise architects make a lot more than that. Do you have your own business or do you work as a 1099 consultant?
Remember the days people took pride in writing elegant code? When a big app was 7 megs.
Hey- lets do it! Integrity just means we tell them reaslistic expectations.
That is a great idea...!
I have been asked by some of my daughters friends at school if I could tutor them in C#- I should start an actual class (and get paid for it)
It depends on the contract- I generally have one on W2 so I can let them take out the taxes (I claim 0) then I can go 1099 on my other ones I am usually OK, tax-wise
I got a chuckle out of that too. I have had to go more than once to give our HR weenie a stern talking to about sending me incompetant boobs with a stack of useless ‘certificates’
That WOULD explain a lot...
This new developer was getting his code hammered in production, they pulled his app, and I asked who had reviewed his code. He said no one. I told him if you work in a vacuum then things are going to suck. He was Indian so I don't think he got the pun.
Most of the guys who know how to write great code 'hacked' they way into the world.
:-) I’ll email you a new keyboard.
For the most part, HP has great hardware. I would rather shoot my pc full of lead than install their bloatware. At least that way there would be a better chance of it running at a tolerable speed.
I know a guy who makes a *very* good living doing remedial coding for companies who outsourced their IT overseas, then brought it back in-house.
Very good question. Have you noticed how entry level jobs mean entry level pay, not experience? Wbill probably gave you as good an answer as you're going to get.
I agree... it does seem a little like deja-vu to me. I am comingat it from a different perspective however.
I worked as a “computer lab assistant” in the late 1980s. I was a computer “hobbiest” for many years prior to that. I worked on my first “radio shack digital computer IC chip kit when I was in the 5th grade in the early 1970s. I owned several “home computers” and put together a few XT and AT clones. I had also dabbled in programming and actually did have a small amount of formal training.
I had a very easy time helping students with their homework. So by the mid 1980s I had a good understanding of small computers from that time period. The main thing that I helped students with were Word Perfect, Lotus 123, DOS, Basic programming, and a couple of other introductory macro and programming languages. Graphical interfaces had been introduced but were still more of a curiosity to the business community so the community college didn’t really cover them.
I saw a lot of people with good jobs that they didn’t like who decided that they wanted to learn about “computers” and start a new career. Many of them had no understanding and worse... little aptitude for what they thought that they wanted to get into. What is different these days is that computers have become so ingrained in everything that we do that most people have an idea of whether or not they have an interest or aptitude for digging deeper into programming, web design, data entry or any other computer related field.
One of the students that I tried to help was a plumber with a god paying but unfulfilling job. He just wanted to get into “compuuters” and make more money. The poor guy had zero understanding and seemed to be unteachable but then he went on to a highly successful career at Microsoft... just kidding... he failed miserably. There are some people who simply have no aptitude for certain fields and others who can excell with almost no training at all.
I would imagine that most of the people who take these “boot camp” classes have already got some background and know a little about what they are getting into. It is hard to imagine someone spending $10,000 without cracking open a few books or watching a few instructional videos ahead of time.
If you are going to write business programs you need to know business. It really helps to know how your users do things.
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